Most of Lenovo’s laptops ship with Windows 10 software. But soon you may be able to buy one that comes with Fedora 32 Workstation Linux pre-installed instead.

Fedora Magazine says select Lenovo ThinkPad laptops will be available with the GNU/Linux distribution soon as part of a “pilot of Lenovo’s Linux Community Series – Fedora Edition.”

At launch, three laptops will be available with Fedora:

  • Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 2
  • Lenovo ThinkPad P53
  • Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Gen 8

If the pilot program is a success, we could see Lenovo offer the option for other models as well.

While it’s always been possible to buy a Windows laptop and replace the operating system with Fedora, Ubuntu, Debian, or any number of other operating systems, there are some advantages to buying a system that comes with your Linux-based OS of choice pre-installed. You probably won’t have to struggle to find drivers for WiFi, graphics, or other tricky hardware.

In this case though, Lenovo ThinkPad laptops that come with Fedora 32 will only have software from the official Fedora repositories, which means that proprietary NVIDIA graphics drivers won’t be installed by default. But you can enable software from proprietary sources if you want to use them.

Lenovo is hardly the first PC maker to offer a Linux laptop option.

Dell’s been offering Ubuntu as an option for its XPS 13 “Developer Edition” laptops for years and the company also sells a number of other desktop and mobile workstations with Ubuntu. And companies including Purism, System76, and ZaReasoonly sell computers with GNU/Linux distributions.

But it’s still interesting to this move from the world’s top PC company (in terms of shipments).

Fedora 32 is set for release on April 28th.

via Phoronix

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9 replies on “Lenovo to begin selling some ThinkPad laptops with Fedora Linux”

  1. I’d buy a 14 inch Lenovo with Fedora if they keep prices under $600. I might even pay $750 for a 13.3 inch version with a Core i5, 8gb DDR4 RAM and a 256gb SSD. But I’m not gonna pay a $1000 premium price, like the XPS 13, Lemur Pro, Galgo Pro or Ultralap.

  2. This is an idiotic strategy decision on Lenovo’s part. Why would you put an EL Linux variant on a new laptop when that variant goes unsupported less than 9 months later? And how long do you let stock sit on a shelf before pushing to Fedora 33, 34, 35? The clear equivalent of Windows 10 in the Linux world is an LTS release, NOT what RHEL itself advertises as beta-quality EL! While far less shiny and sexy, the clear EL choice would be CentOS 8, NOT Fedora.

  3. I wonder why they chose Fedora for this instead of a distro with long term releases.

  4. This sounds like nitpicking, but as a longtime Thinkpad user, in regards to using Linux, one aspect of Thinkpads that I don’t care for is the placement of the FN key on the keyboard in the lower-left corner.

    This might vary from setup to setup, but the Control key is used more heavily in Linux than it is in Windows, and the Control key is not very ergonomic on Thinkpads. I would REALLY like to see a laptop manufacturer make a keyboard layout with a throwback to the old 80’s Unix keyboards (with the control key in the spot now used for Caps lock).

    1. They let you swap in the bios now. 🙂 (Though I haven’t tried it; personally I use caps as control anyway, and sometimes with xcape for esc on press-release.)

  5. It almost seems like finally some acknowledgement about the popularity of ThinkPads among Linux fans. Almost. They’re definitely putting up some of the more ThinkPady of their ThinkPads. And I’m kinda glad it’s not Ubuntu by default. They’ve been doing a lot of annoying things lately.
    But some of these guys are crazy. To please them, Lenovo would need to be putting out something like this:
    *A remake of a ThinkPad X220 with up to date CPU, RAM, GPU, storage, cooling, and display options (including OpenPOWER CPU options),
    *no reduction in ports except removing all cameras and microphones (and maybe swapping VGA/DVI for Thunderbolt 3),
    *running the libreboot UEFI firmware (with HEADS, and where applicable),
    *an option to ship it with no OS installed,
    *And then price it under a thousand dollars for the top end configuration.

    1. You know what? Maybe some of these folks aren’t that crazy. Indeed, some of them may have more or less reasonable feature requests. But you intentionally cited the most egregious one, thus disabling any meaningful debate on the issue. Just my observation. 😉

      1. I guess they’re more crazy in how they act about the things they want than in wanting the things they want.

    2. You should check out the X210. Its a replacement motherboard for the X201 that has an 8th-gen Intel chip on it.

      It is made by a group of people on the 51nb forums (a Chinese forum). I believe there is some kind of group buy for people outside China.

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